Deserted and dark. The only light filters in through the narrow windows. Mira walks down the corridors - turning and twisting, leading nowhere.
My Lord, will you not dine with me?
A WOLF appears at the end of the corridor, its nails clicking on the floor. It approaches her, and licks her hand.
Take me to him.
INT. DINING HALL - NIGHT
Mira and the wolf enter. Bathory waits, sitting at the end of the table, his feet up on the tablecloth.
Darling! Did you get lost?
I’m afraid it will take me some time to learn
where everything is. You have a very large castle.
A very smart creature. I have not seen
him in the castle before.
Oh, he’s been here.
No real surprise - Mira is beyond that now. She just smiles back, then lifts the silver cover from her dinner plate.
The food is ROTTEN. Mira pulls back slightly at the smell of it.
What is this?
It’s the same as what you’ve always eaten here. Nothing’s
changed, Mira. Maybe at last you’re just seeing
things as they really are.
Mira looks to the end of the table. In the Count’s place sits an ANCIENT CREATURE, something older than even the castle. Its skin is cracked rather than wrinkled, old dead blood dried and caked in the seams of its wretched face.
Its eyes are red, and a serpentine tongue flicks out over its lips. With long, yellowed fingernails, it lifts a bite of rotten food to its mouth. Mira can see the maggots crawling.
Won’t you eat, Mira?
Laughter from the end of the table. Mira BLINKS - the Count appears a handsome middle-aged man again, though everything else is still ruined, decrepit.
Delicious, isn’t it?
You mean to frighten me. It won’t work.
What are you talking about, you silly girl?
How long did you wait before you showed all of this to
Ilka? How long did you wait before you drove her mad?
I waited until she allowed that priest to perform his magic on
her. I waited until she allowed my sons to die.
I will never see my son again. My husband might as well be dead.
I have no desire to consecrate this union, and there is no longer
any reason to delay. I will go to your bed tonight.
And after I give you a son, you will let me go.
And what is there for you now outside
Nothing. You’ve seen to that. But I never said I would
be leaving the castle - only that you would
release me. To let me belong only to myself.
Ah. Suppose I decide I want to keep you? Will
you try to slice open your veins, or maybe throw yourself
from the top of one of the towers?
You may keep me if you want, but you will have to enchant
me, or drive me mad. And that, I think, would make
me not at all the woman you wished to keep in the first place.
After my son is born - a healthy son, mind you - you
wish to be given the run of the castle?
No. Just the east tower. You will also give me Erzsebet.
Oh, my dear, you nearly had me fooled. But you’re
just as silly and sentimental as Ilka,
aren’t you? Give me a healthy son, and you
may have your east tower and your mad little demon child.
Do you mean it?
Oh, my Mira.
Will you make me feel good? Will you do that at least?
Mira puts an arm around his neck, the perfume bottle in her hand. She carefully unscrews the lid as she whispers in his ear.
I will tell you a secret, Bathory. Perhaps it’s been too long
since you were human, but you’re not the only one
who knows how to lie to get what you want.
The ancient creature is revealed again, FANGS bared - the only teeth in its mouth. It lunges at Mira - but she holds the candelabra out. It CATCHES ON FIRE.
A SCREAM, a sound no mortal voice could make. Mira claps her hands over her ears, ducks away. So she doesn’t see the wolf jump...
It KNOCKS her down and clamps its jaws shut on her arm. The vial of blood rolls away. Mira shrieks, bats at the wolf’s head. It SHAKES her arm.
Mira gropes for the dagger in her shoe.
Bathory is now a PILLAR of fire. His hands move blindly over the surface of the table. He finds a KNIFE.
Mira retrieves the dagger. She STABS the wolf in the side, over and over. It releases her arm and howls. She is able to scurry out from underneath it.
The Count hears her, turns. His eyes are gone - black holes in his face. His skin begins to darken, shrivel. He croaks out something that might be her name, lurches her way.
Mira kicks herself back, away from him, injured arm held to her chest. Then she sees the vial - under the table, just a few inches from Bathory’s feet. Beat. Mira rolls over, CRAWLS for it. She picks it up.
Not fast enough.
Bathory manages to grab her arm and YANK her up to her feet. The sleeve of her dress catches on fire. She doesn’t notice - she stares at him.
He is a black wraith, the bone beginning to peek through in places. Somehow, he still burns - flames dance merrily away in his empty eye sockets.
Bathory raises the knife...
I’ll break it!
Put the knife down, and I’ll leave the vial.
(voice low, demonic)
You pathetic child. I was old when the Crusaders
reclaimed the Holy Land. Mighty kings have fallen
over the centuries, yet I have always remained. And
you think you can harm me?
You will never be free of me. You will
belong to me until the end of time.
The AMULET she wears is revealed.
Bathory draws back with a hiss. Mira jumps on the opportunity - she grabs the candelabra from the table and BURIES it in the Count’s chest, like a pitchfork. The metal seems to find no resistance, and she keeps driving it in, screaming.
The walls and tabletop BURST into flame. Bathory makes one half-hearted grab at the candelabra, then stumbles back. Falls to the floor. A few spastic jerks of his body, and then he is STILL.
Beat. Mira stares, unaware of the fire all around her. Then the Count’s wineglass SHATTERS from the heat. She comes back to herself.
Mira realizes she still clutches the vial of blood. She turns and runs out.